Broody Hens and Naturally Hatching Eggs

Grandpa EGGhead

In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2020
5
11
18
About May 3 I noticed 2 hens being broody, so I quickly made a brooder box and moved them and the eggs the next day into the box. All went well for a few days then one hen decided she didn't want to be the box anymore. On the 3rd morning she was really raising a ruckus and wasn't on the nest anymore and 5 of the eggs were missing so I released her. She immediately ran outside with the rest of the flock and let out a big pile of droppings and got reacquainted. The other hen patiently sat on her nest and hatched 4 chicks! :) I kept them in the box until the 3rd day after the hatch, I knew they needed to get out and on the ground, not being sure how things would go I released them onto the floor with a nest box and chick starter food and water. The flock accepted them just great with no problems especially because she is a very good and protective mom! She puts the other hens in place if she don't want them near and clucks repeatedly teaching her brood to scratch and peck. She will cluck and coax the chicks back into the coop right into the nest box! Now 2 days ago I suddenly have 2 more hens broody so I put them into the brooder box along with 10 eggs each. They accepted being moved into the box with no problem and are brooding away and so far are doing well. As I have done with the first hen, I put a little bowl of scratch mixed with a small amount of feed in front of the nest as she was brooding to give a treat. She ate it readily so I gave more every other day, and am doing the same with these 2 more that are brooding. I can say from personal experience the natural way of raising chicks is so much more gratifying and better than incubating artificially! I will update on how this next batch is doing, and here are a few pictures!!

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JacinLarkwell

Free Ranging
Mar 19, 2020
12,655
23,079
701
South-Eastern Montana
I wish my chickens went broody more. I've had two hens hatch out nests in almost 9 years (minus my mostly feral Pheonix flock, but I don't mess with them). On the bright side thpigh, the first hen that hatched eggs was a good enough hen yo hatch duck eggs and care for the ducks and the current hen accepted 4 chicks with her own four and only lost one shock is better than I have brooder wise
 

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